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Dance Gavin Dance is a post-hardcore and experimental rock band that has been together since their formation in 2005. They have built up a reputation of putting soul, funk and screamo all on the same palette.
Dance Gavin Dance formed in 2005 out of a band called Farewell Unknown that had run its course. Lead guitarist Will Swan, drummer Matt Mingus and bassist Eric Lodges recruited screamer Jonathan Mess, and singer Jonny Craig to join the band.
Unsure to this day as to where they got their name from, they booked a show under the name Dance Gavin Dance with the hope of getting around to changing it but it unfortunately didn’t happen in the end and the name stuck. They released their first EP with this line up entitled, “Whatever I Say Is Royal Ocean” which was re released when the band signed to Rise Records. It was after the reception of this record that they began to write their debut full length album “Downtown Battle Mountain”
They released their debut full-length album on May 15th 2007, through Rise Records and then began their first national tour with Alesana and A Day to Remember. Unfortunately, counter tenor singer, Jonny Craig quit the band in November of that year, and was not allowed to rejoin when he asked if he could due to large tensions with other members. It was Kurt Travis who would later become their lead singer, who was formerly fronting a band called Five Minute Ride.
They went back into the studio to record their sophomore album, “Dance Gavin Dance” which was released on August 19th 2008, but before it was released, Jonathan Mess and Eric Lodge left the band. Will Swan took the reigns of the band and journeyed on.
All of the drama aside with the numerous line up changes, they have maintained a solid reputation as a Scream/Funk/Soul band with tendencies to be experimental, leaping from genre to genre. Will Swan has developed an instantly recognizable and distinctive style of playing over the years and they also still have original members, Matt Mingus on drums and Jon Mess on what they describe as “unclean vocals”.